Former World Junior Champion Elisabeth Paehtz was recently featured in the “satirical chess magazine” Kingpin. Topics ranged from the most irritating player she’d ever faced at the board to her love of opera, but there were also some harsh words for the German Chess Federation.
Paehtz, who with an Elo rating of 2440 currently tops the female German rating list by over 50 points, was featured in the magazine’s 20 Questions segment. They included:
Which living player do you most admire?
I am a big fan of Carlsen, as he’s given chess a new spirit by showing that that not every game must have 25 moves of theory prepared at home!
Who is the most irritating opponent you have faced?
I don’t remember facing anyone especially irritating. Once an opponent dared to have a look under the table before over the board… This we may probably call a little bit irritating.
What was your most embarrassing moment at the chess board?
The most embarrassing moment was in 2002 during the Las Vegas Open. I had to leave the board crying tears of laughter as my neighbour acted very weird in time trouble. Embarrassing because I should have controlled myself. Obviously my neighbour could not do anything to control his nervousness.
Elisabeth recently worked for the Turkish Chess Federation coaching young Turkish players, something she clearly wishes was a possibility in Germany:
What has been your biggest disappointment?
The biggest disappointment is the way my chess federation supports women’s chess in Germany – no support at all, not even for talented girls in early age groups.
Music plays a big part in Paehtz’s life:
What/who is your favourite band/music/composer?
My favourite singer is Luciano Pavarotti. In general I prefer classical music and I regret not doing more with my interest in it because, like my chess friend and great bass baritone Emil Sutovsky, I had some talent…
In Peter Doggers' video below from the Gibraltar Chess Festival (Paehtz: "the only open tournament where a woman chessplayer feels accepted as an equal") you can hear Elisabeth singing a Russian song with Sutovsky from about 3:30: